NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Spring 2018 Pt 3 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
[New] Off the beaten track with
[New] Stanfordian thoughts - 1. Phaudrig Crohoore
by Christopher Howell
Elgar and other British
composers in Sussex by Ian Lace
Tallis's Spem in Alium - a
comparative review by Ralph Moore
Classical Music on
Stamps This week: The Prague Spring Music Festival
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Thursday May 24th
Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Music for Viola
& Piano -
Paul Neubauer (viola)
Margo Garrett (piano) rec. 2001 DELOS DE3498 [56:27] [RB] Compulsory listening for Bloch or viola enthusiasts.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphonies Nos 8 & 9 - NDR SO Hamburg/Günter Wand rec. 1987/8
[79:59 + 69:35] [RMo]
Some reservations, but I can understand why these two accounts have their adherents.
Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916)
Goyescas, Zapateado, Valses poéticos, Allegro de concierto
Xiayin Wang (piano)
rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10995 [69.25] [RBe] Superb playing from Wang.
Kara KARAYEV (1918–1982)
Symphony No. 1, Violin Concerto -
Janna Gandelman (violin)
Kiev Virtuosi SO/Dmitry Yablonsky
rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573722 [54:43] [NB] An interesting but not invaluable disc.
Arthur Fiedler (conductor)
Fiedler Encores - Boston Pops O/Arthur Fiedler rec. 1977/8
ELOQUENCE 482 8792
Pleasant enough listening, but hardly an essential purchase.
Duo Gazzana Works by
Ravel, Franck, Ligeti & Messiaen rec. 2017 ECM NEW SERIES 2556 (4816781) [55:26]
[DC] Spacious and attractive, a fine programme.
Hunting Music of Old Czech Masters
Works by Družecký, Vent & Vranický -
Collegium Musicum Pragensae, Prague SO/František Vajnar rec. 1970/71 SUPRAPHON SU4228-2 [57:11]
[DBi] A very unusual reissue of classical works in excellent performances and recordings from the Supraphon archive.
Inspiration finnes deri
Works by Andrée & Hĺkanson - Klarkvartetten,
Mats Persson (baritone), Solveig Wikman (piano), Dieter Schöning (violin)
ALTFIOL I VÄST AIVCD008
A most enterprising and interesting disc, which I have enjoyed immensely.
Irina Muresanu (violin)
Four Strings Around the World rec. 2017
SONO LUMINUS DSL-92221
Certainly plenty of variety here.
Nature and The Soul Latvian Radio Ch/Kaspars
Putniņš rec. 2016
One of the world’s finest choirs in superbly adapted repertoire.
Wednesday May 23rd
Wilhelm BERGER (1861-1911)
Piano sonata; Variations and Fugue
Mitsuko Saruwatari (piano) rec. 2017 ETCETERA KTC1599 [64:04]
[DC] Roll-up here for undeservingly undiscovered Romantic piano works.
(1902-1977) Music for Piano - Reinis Zariņš (piano) Liepāja
SO/Atvars Lakstīgala SKANI 056 [73:22] [EJW] An interesting and very welcome CD of hitherto unrecorded music by this important female Latvian composer of the mid 20th Century.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Mass
for Double Choir, Songs of Ariel Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Four Songs of the Virgin Mary,
Romance of the Dandelions -
Danish Ntl Vocal Ens/Marcus Creed
rec. 2017 OUR RECORDINGS SACD 6.220671 [64:13] [LW] Exemplary accounts of Martin and Martinů a cappella works.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete String Quartets
Leipzig String Qt rec. 1999-2017 MDG 3072066-2 [8 CDs: 528:37]
Well-recorded performances, enthusiastically endorsed for those wanting a complete cycle.
Heinrich SCHEIDEMANN (c. 1595-1663)
Complete Organ works - Friedhelm Flamme (organ)
rec. 2009 CPO 777 562-2 SACD [62:30] [JV]
The repertoire is excellent, but as before with this performer, I have some reservations about the interpretations.
Imre SZÉCHÉNYI (1825-1898) Complete Dances for Orchestra
- Budapest Symphony MÁV/Valéria Csányi rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573807 [72:02]
[RB] Some loveable silver dances and well worth rescuing.
Calen-o: Songs from the North of Ireland Carolyn Dobbin (mezzo soprano),
Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2017(?) DELPHIAN DCD34187 [56:22]
[JW] A few reservations, but in general, these are fine performances of rare songs.
Works by Valen, Stravinsky & Lutosławski -
Bĺrd Monsen (violin)
Gunnar Flagstad (piano)
rec. 2016 2L 2L-137-SABD BD-A & SACD [51:29] [DBi] A fine issue including a rare Valen work alongside the more familiar Lutosławski and Stravinsky.
Works by Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos & Chávez -
Royal Northern College of Music Wind O/Clark Rundell, Mark Heron
rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10975 [66:18] [GPJ] Unfamiliar but hugely entertaining and rewarding works from Spain and Latin America.
The Art of Narciso Yepes: Lectures on Mastery of the Guitar rec.1970 SFM SFMDVD223 [2 DVDs: 150 mins] [ZT] If you are a collector of historically important guitar material, this DVD set is a must, but not if you want to hear Nepes at his best.
Tuesday May 22nd
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Concerto Nos 2 & 4 - Royal Northern Sinf/Lars Vogt (piano)
ONDINE ODE1311-2 [62:16] [MG] Vogt reveals with equal clarity Beethoven’s charm, poetry, power and passion, in all of which soloist and orchestra glow and blend.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete symphonies
- Scottish CO/Robin Ticciati rec. 2017
LINN CKD601 [78:09 + 74:07]
[JQ] Robin Ticciati bids au revoir to the
Scottish Chamber Orchestra with a very fine
Brahms symphony cycle.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 8
- Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons
BR KLASSIK 900165 [80.07] [MC] A remarkably convincing reading which deserves a prominent place on any list of recommended recordings
of this symphony.
(1890-1987) & Mario
CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Cello
Concertos - Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Konzerthaus
O Berlin/Nicholas Minton rec. 2016 CPO
555 074-2 [65:39] [MC] This album
may only appeal to the most avid collector of
rare cello concertos.
Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893)
Cantates et musique sacrée - Flemish Radio Ch,
Brussels PO/Hervé Niquet rec. 2016/7
EDICIONES SINGULARES ES1030 [59:41 + 68:50] [MB] Superb performances; part of an admirable and immensely valuable project.
Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957)
Violin Concerto Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990)
Serenade - Liza Ferschtman (violin)
Prague SO/Jiří Malát, Het Gelders O/Christian Vásquez rec. 2017
CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72755 SACD [58:21] [NB] A qualified welcome for this new disc; the Bernstein certainly gets a fine performance.
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Années de pčlerinage: Suisse - Francesco Piemontesi (piano)
rec. 2017 ORFEO C944182I
Outstanding performances, perfectly pitched and beautifully caught;
Piemontesi is a pianist to watch.
MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony
No. 6 - Südwestfunk-O Baden-Baden/Kiril
Kondrashin rec. 1981 SWR MUSIC SWR19416CD
[68:24] [TB] A performance in which the
whole experience generates rather less than
the sum of the parts.
NOWOWIEJSKI (1877-1946) Symphonies
Nos. 2 & 3 - Filharmonii Poznańskiej
Borowicz DUX 1446 [73:19]
works - Filharmonii Opolskiej SO/Przemysław
Neumann DUX 1425 [77:51] Masses
- Olsztyn Chamber Ch, Olsztyn SO/Janusz Przybylski DUX
0683 [67:40] Quo Vadis
- Górecki Chamber Ch;
Warmińsko-Mazurskiej Filharmonii SO/Piotr Sułkowski
rec. 2014-17 DUX 1327/8 [64:55
+ 31:05] [RB] Some of the various faces of
this intriguing composer and surely more to
Lauri PORRA (b.1977)
Entropia – Paperi T (vocals)
Joonas Riippa (drums)
Aki Rissanen (piano) Lauri Porra (electric bass)
Lahti SO/Jaakko Kuusisto
BIS BIS-2305 SACD [83:18] [RHa] Three fascinating ‘concertante’ scores from a genre-bending Finn, superbly recorded by BIS.
Monday May 21st
John Luther ADAMS (b. 1953) Four Thousand Holes Michael PISARO (b. 1961) Floating, drifting - Ian Pace (piano),
Simon Limbrick (percussion) rec. 2017
LOUTH CONTEMPORARY MUSIC SOCIETY LCMS1701
Well performed, but the Pisaro is interminable.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Violin Concerto Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto - Janine Andrade (violin),
Hamburg Pro Musica/Hans-Jürgen Walther rec. c. 1959
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1370
Two valuable documents making a welcome comeback to the catalogue in superb restorations, though I do have strong reservations regarding the Tchaikovsky.
David DIAMOND (1915–2005)
Symphony No. 6, Rounds, Romeo & Juliet -
Indiana University CO & PO/Arthur Fagen
rec. 2016/17 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559842 [65:00] [RB]
Music and readings that are telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded.
Duarte LOBO (c1565-1646)
Missa Vox clamantis Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (c1548-1611)
Missa Semile est regnum caelorum Sebastián de VIVANCO (c1551-1622) Magnificat - Truro Cathedral Ch/Christopher Gray, Luke Bond (organ)
If you love choral music of the Renaissance, this is a disc you should not miss.
Amanda MAIER (1853-1894) Preludes Julius RÖNTGEN (1855-1932)
Julklapp! & Neckens Polska Amanda MAIER & Julius RÖNTGEN Zwiegespräche - Bengt Forsberg (piano, organ), Hanna Aberg (voice), Cecilia
DB PRODUCTIONS DBCD185
An excellent addition to the growing discography of this married couple.
Johann Melchior MOLTER (1696-1765) Sinfonias & Cantatas
- Julia Sophie Wagner (soprano)
Reuss CO/Werner Ehrhardt rec. 2015 CPO 5550282 [72:27]
[CRo] A welcome addition to the
slender discography of Molter’s output.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Piano Quartets
Kuijken Piano Qt rec. 2016 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72758 SACD [66.34]
[RBe] Intensely musical performances.
Gráinne MULVEY (b. 1966)
Aeolus Christopher FOX (b.1955) untouch
rec. 2017 METIER MDS29006 [24:20] [JF] Something different, but still enjoyable.
Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
Elégie - A Heart in Exile - Lucy Parham (piano), Henry Goodman (narrator)
[56:16 + 48:47] [RWe]
A fascinating exploration of the mighty Russian’s eventful life, strong opinions and superb piano music.
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphonies Nos
5 & 6 -
Royal Liverpool PO/Andrew Manze rec. 2017 ONYX 4184 [70:12]
Those who collect Manze’s Vaughan Williams cycle can hardly go wrong, even if other performances of either symphony are more satisfying.
by Tony Scotland
Shelf Lives [JF]
An attractive short read, which will appeal particularly to those with an enthusiasm for Lennox Berkeley.
Friday May 18th
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Secular
Cantatas Vol. 9 - Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2016
BIS BIS2311 SACD [80.53] [SG]
Those who have been steadfastly collecting this magnificent Suzuki cycle will no doubt be keen to bag this one.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei BORTKIEWICZ (1877-1952)
Piano Concertos No. 2 & 3 - Stefan Doniga (piano),
Janáček PO/David Porcelijn rec. 2008
PIANO CLASSICS PCL10146
I hope that lovers of late Romantic piano concertos will rush out and buy
Francesco GEMINIANI (1687-1762)
Concerto grosso No. 12, La forest enchantée George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759)
Dietro l'orme fugaci - Robin Johannsen (soprano), Les Passions de l'Âme, Meret Lüthi
DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88985438432
This disc deserves a wholehearted welcome.
Lejaren HILLER (1924-1994)
Sonatas for Violin and Piano - Conrad Harris (violin), Joseph Kubera (piano)
NEW WORLD 80799-2
Good to be ushered in to the least notorious aspect of Hiller's legacy; even so it's neither soft-centred nor simplistically welcoming.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trios Nos
1 & 2, Violin Sonata -
Ilya Gringolts (violin)
Daniel Haefliger (cello)
Gilles Vonsattel (piano)
rec. 2015 CLAVES CD 50-1817 [68:09] [NB] Compelling and impressive performances from a dedicated and committed team of star players.
Francesco Paolo TOSTI (1846-1916)
The Last Songs - Duo Alterno rec. 2017
URANIA RECORDS LDV14033
Regrettably I wasn’t able to foster more enthusiasm for this issue; it feels
like a golden opportunity sadly wasted.
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Messa da Requiem - Maria Luisa Fanelli (soprano), Irene Minghini-Cattaneo (mezzo-soprano), Franco Lo Giudice (tenor), Ezio Pinza (bass),
Ch & O La Scala, Milan/Carlo Sabajno rec. 1929
PRISTINE AUDIO PACO148
A recording of undoubted historical significance.
Works by Danzi, Mozart, Devienne & Pleyel -
Les Vents Français, Munich CO/Daniel Giglberger rec. 2017 WARNER CLASSICS 9029570487 [52:03 + 65:37]
A vivid exploration of fascinating music.
Elgar – The Man Behind The Mask
A film by John Bridcut rec. 2009/10 CRUX PRODUCTIONS CRUXGZ002DVD [90 mins]
A profound examination of the man and his music one that viewers can return to again and again.
Forgotten Polish Music for Four Hands
Works by Szymanowska, Chopin, Mikuli, Zarębski, Kurpiński & Paderewski -
Maria Szymanowska Piano Duo rec. 2017 DUX 1433 [48:32]
[MBu] Timepieces of historic value and listenability.